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Justin Howard-Sneyd MW joins board of closures company

Published:  07 January, 2014

Ex-Direct Wines global wine director Justin Howard-Sneyd MW has joined CorkGuard, formerly Bacchus Wine Closures, as a director.

A shake-up at the firm, formerly known as Bacchus Wine Closures, brought in André Oszmann as chairman one year ago, and since then it has re-financed through new equity and undergone a strategic review. The firm is eyeing expansion, including the launch of a new product range this year. All the current board members are also investors in the business.

David Taylor remains as managing director and David Moëd as financial director. Richard Cooper has been appointed commercial director and Mike Oldfield is distribution director.

Howard-Sneyd said: "David Taylor has invented something unique that means that winemakers can be confident that drinkers can enjoy wines and spirits as they were intended to taste. I am hugely looking forward to being able to tell the world about it as we launch our new product range during 2014. With André's chairmanship, David's technical innovation, and the other new board appointments, the CorkGuard team is in great shape and I am very pleased to be able to contribute."

Originally called the Bacchus Barrier, CorkGuard is aimed at winemakers who want to keep using natural cork but with less risk of corked wines. It applies a membrane to natural cork closures designed to prevent TCA ingress, while still allowing oxygen to pass through.

Oszmann said: "We are delighted that someone of Justin's calibre has chosen to invest in and join our company. Justin is a very good fit for us, bringing with him an excellent reputation for quality, and wide range of contacts with both winemakers and retailers."

Howard-Sneyd MW owns an independent wine consultancy, The Hive Wine Consulting, working closely with clients like Direct Wines. Prior to this, Justin headed up the Waitrose wine buying team, and before this was a wine buyer at Sainsbury's and Safeway.